It looks like the Park Place development scheme has collapsed (or rather is going to collapse).
How many years has the council (both Labour and Tory) tried to kid us that this development would ever happen?
Who seriously believed that this scheme would ever get off the ground?
How many other development schemes touted by the council are going to fail to get off the ground?
The failure of Croydon council to plan effectively has led to the degradation and decay of the area designated for the development, eg St George's Walk. Local businesses, such as Turtle's, have been under threat of closure because of this scheme.
In May 2005 I wrote that:
"Turtle's, one of Croydon's best known independent stores, is searching for new premises after compulsory purchase orders were issued to acquire the land for the £500M Park Place shopping centre."
In February 2005 I wrote about Minerva funding Croydon Council's fight against the Whitgift shopping centre expansion plans proposed by Minerva's rivals, who own the Whitgift. I stated then that this must surely raise reservations about the council's independence.
Interestingly, John Prescott crushed the rival scheme in March 2006; Andrew Rosenfeld (owner of Minerva) having loaned £1M to Labour.
According to The Times:
"Prescott killed the rival scheme, put forward by a consortium called Whitgift, by rejecting its appeal against an earlier refusal by inspectors to give it planning permission."
Prescott denied this and another allegation. Prescott confirmed that he had received the planning applications, but said he felt the decisions should be made locally.
"I passed it over to Croydon and (the other application) City of London Corporation.
They made the decision, not me."
It is time that the council stopped kowtowing to the developers, and asserted a robust and coherent development policy that served the interests of the people who actually live and work in Croydon.